A job offer letter is used to offer a job to a successful candidate. The letter will include the company presenting it and the position in question.
Other details on the job offer letter will include the start date, work hours, and compensation. All of this will help the candidate to choose whether to accept the job or not.
Employers usually present the job offer letter after a verbal offer to the applicant who passed their background check.
Understanding how to create great job offer letters will benefit your company, so read on for everything you need to know.
Why Do Job Offer Letters Matter?
Job offer letters are important because they act as a formal document outlining the agreement between employer and employee. The letter will contain critical information and will include a deadline if the applicant hasn’t already accepted the job. What appears in the job offer letter could significantly influence the candidate’s final choice, so companies stand to benefit if they get them right.
Job offer letters also matter for future reference. If your employee requests a raise or additional benefits later, having a clear offer letter from when you hired them will tell you whether their requests line up with their progress from where they started. And while we hope this will never happen, in a legal dispute with an unhappy employee the clarity and detail of their offer letter can provide an accurate evidence record for what that employee was offered when they took their position.
What Does Success Look Like?
Success with job offer letters will look like many content candidates readily accepting their roles before deadlines and without hesitation. You’ll know because there won’t be roles left unfilled and a load of needless stress trying to fill them.
Good job offer letters also start your entire relationship with an employee off on the right note, which usually leads to their staying in your job longer. Telling candidates you recognize the skills and experience they’ll bring to the company can boost their confidence, and they’ll perform better in their job as a result.
Onboarding candidates more quickly is yet another benefit of successful job offer letters. After all, a compelling letter can help a candidate to make their decision more quickly. They won’t need to spend as long thinking about different variables with a job offer that inspires confidence.
Finally, job offer letters provide a legal basis for employment, which is why it’s vital to ensure everything you say within the letter you stand behind. A job offer letter is legally binding, so as long as you’re happy with the contents of it, it can result in fewer legal difficulties down the line.
Using iCIMS’ job offer letter management software and other dedicated recruitment features, NorthStar Anesthesia, an anesthesia management company, benefited from a 50% increase in positions filled per month.
It also saw a 40% decrease in physician-vacancy rates and over two hours of productivity gained per day per recruiter.
The software helped streamline and create compliant offers, manage the company’s offers, and made applicants accept jobs much faster.
iCIMS doesn’t list its prices, but you can sign up for a free demo here.
One Secret Weapon To Master Job Offer Letters
Dedicated recruiting software is an online tool used by HR professionals to help make the hiring process more efficient. Everything from screening candidates, collecting resumes, and sending out offer letters is possible with the software.
We spent hours looking at some of the best recruitment software and narrowed it down to our top five picks. You can see our top picks here.
We thought BambooHR was the best applicant tracking system for its collaborative team hiring, analytics, and ability to send out job offer letters seamlessly. With BambooHR, you’ll have to contact them to get a price quote, but you can sign up for a free trial here.
3 Essential Strategies for Job Offer Letters
Before we go into some essential strategies to create job offer letters, it’s important to mention what exactly you’ll need to complete before sending one out.
For your job offer letter, you’ll most likely want to send it out in a welcome email that introduces your offer. A formal offer letter document is attached to the email. The email is typically short and can sound casual as long as the document’s critical job information is available.
Candidates tend to prefer job offer letters sent out via email, although you can post them more traditionally as well. If so, let them know this is how you plan to send it out in advance.
Now let’s dive into some of the strategies to help increase your chances of success.
Clearly Communicate the Job Offer
We’ve mentioned sending job offers out via email, but the truth is, whatever way you plan to send them, be sure it isn’t the only way you let candidates know.
You should ensure you both call and email candidates to announce the job offer. What’s more, you need to do this well before you send out the actual formal letter in a second email.
Doing so will eliminate the possibility that a candidate wasn’t aware of your job offer, for whatever reason, and decided to take another one instead. This scenario is probably the worst thing that can happen due to the loss of time and money. On a long-term basis, it’s crucial to guarantee job positions don’t remain unfilled.
To prevent this, make sure your candidate is up to date at every stage and via multiple communication channels.
When you send your offer letter out via a second email, you should use a subject line that plainly states it’s a job offer. For instance: “Job offer from [Company Name]” or something like “Job offer for the position of [Job Title] at [Company Name].”
The email body should be brief and should mention that the candidate can find the job offer letter attached. It’s also vital to note a timeframe for when they need to get back to you. The last thing you want is to wait around for longer than necessary.
Be sure to personalize the body of your email and the tone. Find a good balance between being formal and clear with the offer and reflecting your company culture and branding.
BambooHR can help to make the process a bit smoother with email and job offer letter templates. With the software, you can create offer letter templates for different positions, departments, and locations.
You’ll be able to quickly populate job offers with placeholders for things like title, salary, and start date:
A new “Offer” tab can show a timeline of when the offer was sent and when it was viewed.
Above all else, make sure you communicate the entire process from start to finish as simply as possible. It doesn’t take much in the competitive job market for a candidate to turn elsewhere.
Success here will result in a fast response from your candidate and a quickly filled position, not to mention a sense of confidence from them and less stress for you.
Establish the Job Offer Approval Process and Details Early
Let’s go back to when you’re deciding on the job position itself. That’s how early you need to start thinking about the job offer approval process and the details that go along with it.
In other words: you need to think about when you will be ready to offer a job to your best candidate and how to proceed from there. Having this all decided in advance is essential for long-term success.
It helps if you break this down into some basic questions. That way, you’ll have the information well before the creation of your job offer letter.
Questions like: “What’s the pay range for this position?”, “How many days should you wait for a candidate to accept your offer?” and “Are there any bonuses associated with this position?”.
Finding answers to these questions will help form the basis of your job offer letter. It’ll mean you won’t be forced to think about these details at the last minute and in a rush—the earlier, the better here.
It also pays to look at the recruiting process itself. Are there any places it might lag unnecessarily? Is the process lengthy, for example, numerous interviews, spreadsheets, and too many candidates?
If so, how could you streamline the process and make it as efficient as possible? Would it help to move qualified candidates through the pipeline with a more solid set of screening questions? Perhaps you could include knockout questions in the application form?
Standing back and looking at all the different parts can shave weeks off the hiring process, allowing you to fill positions more quickly, you save time, and there’s a higher chance a candidate won’t drop out during it.
Automate the Process With Recruitment Software
The platforms and technologies used to reach candidates today are constantly evolving. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t just automate the process with the help of software.
We’ve already mentioned recruitment software that can help you speed up your hiring process. It does this through features that automate the most time-consuming tasks so you can spend time elsewhere.
An applicant tracking system (ATS) will handily store email templates, job offer templates and allows you to talk to candidates directly without the extra hassle of traditional methods.
These systems can track all emails with team members during the approval process, automatically create impressive offer letters with the right tone, and check to see that you’ve included all the key details with a helpful checklist.
You’ll also have a clear impression of who has taken action and who hasn’t, so you’re able to follow up with team members and candidates when you like.
As a long-term move, signing up for the software is one of the best you can make.
We recommend heading over to the BambooHR homepage and checking out a free trial with them. You can do so by clicking Try It Free once the page has loaded. It’s in the upper right-hand corner:
From there, fill out your company details.
Shortly afterward, you’ll have access to job offer letter templates that are customizable as you wish. Other platform features mean it’s quicker to write, approve, and send your job offers out. BambooHR even includes e-signatures, making it more straightforward for candidates to accept your job positions as soon as they want.
Most companies have found recruitment software to be the most effective solution overall, so it’s more than worth a look.
It means for you better job offer letter templates resulting in faster hires, better employee retention rates, and less time and money wasted.
Most Common Misconceptions of Job Offer Letters
We’ve listed some of the most common misconceptions of job offer letters below:
Job offer letters aren’t legally binding: One of the most common misconceptions is that job offer letters aren’t legally binding. In reality, an employment offer letter is legally binding once an “unconditional” offer is accepted. Only “conditional” job offer letters can be withdrawn if the candidate fails to meet certain conditions.
The job offer letter can be basic: A brief and easy-to-understand job offer letter is indeed desirable. That said, you must include key details such as job title, the job schedule, duties, equity, base salary, bonuses, benefits, company policy, confidential information restrictions, at-will employment, and contingencies.
You only need to offer a job by letter: While some companies still do this, it’s not good practice. The letter should follow up on a verbal agreement you have made in person, on a video call, or over the phone. The job offer letter should only come after this, and certainly not on its own.
A job offer letter replaces a contract of employment: While it’s true a signed job offer letter gives the candidate and your business a firm level of legal protection, that doesn’t mean it should replace a dedicated contract of employment. We recommend creating a distinct contract that lays out the complete working terms as well.
The letter should be formal with little personality: Not if you want a candidate to feel how excited you are to hire them!. Don’t be afraid to show your personality. This letter is the last chance to seal the deal, so a light scattering of character can stop you from sounding overly robotic and help the candidate feel more welcome.
A good job offer letter may make the difference between your candidate of choice accepting or rejecting the job offer itself. It would be a shame for a great candidate not to join your company because of a single letter! Hopefully, with this guide to help you, you can now write clear, personable, and welcoming job offer letters that will bring excellent candidates into your company quickly and easily.